MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Gustavo Machado BPhty (Hons) Cert.MDT
The George Institute for Global Health
Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: People with back pain are usually told by their health care practitioners to take analgesic medications to relieve their pain. But our previous research published in the BMJ showed that paracetamol does not have a measurable impact on patient’s symptoms. This resulted in recent changes in guidelines’ recommendations. The 2017 National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines/UK no longer recommend paracetamol as a stand-alone intervention for back pain.
So now non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are recommended as the analgesic of first choice. However, our results show that compared to placebo, commonly used NSAIDs, such as Ibuprofen (e.g. Nurofen) and Diclofenac (e.g. Voltaren), provide only small benefits for people with back pain while increasing the risk of gastrointestinal adverse effects by 2.5 times.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: Our results therefore highlight the importance of considering whether the benefits outweigh the risk of side effects offered by these drugs.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Response: With paracetamol found to be ineffective and NSAIDs and opioids now showing only small effects for back pain, we need to develop new drug therapies for this condition.
MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.
Machado GC, Maher CG, Ferreira PH, et al
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for spinal pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases Published Online First: 02 February 2017. doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2016-210597
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